If you’re looking to infuse a little hope into your life, Scott Haze’s biographical documentary Mully has it in abundance. It is the rags to riches tale of Charles Mully, a Kenyan who amassed an empire only to sell it all in an act of charity. Born into a small village, Mully, was the son of a drunken and abusive father. One morning he awoke to find his family gone. Ostensibly an adolescent orphan he was forced to live on the streets and beg for food. He found faith and purpose in Christianity when he stopped to hear a sermon at a parish. This new faith gave him the confidence to walk to bustling Nairobi in search of work. There, he was given shelter by a kindly household and allowed to work on the grounds. He judiciously saved his earnings to buy a van and start a taxi service. One car became an entire fleet and the company Mullyways. Mully’s enterprise rapidly expanded into real estate, insurance and a monopoly on eastern oil transports.
Married with eight children and a profitable consortium, Mully had attained unimaginable success. He had built a future for himself and his family from nothing. However, after getting his car stolen by street boys, as he had once been, he decided to change everything. He sells his businesses and spend his nights taking orphans off the dangerous streets of Nairobi. He turned his own home into a shelter. His family is convinced their father had gone mad.
At Mully’s core, wearing a large brimmed sun hat and wide smile, is its endearing principle. Charles Mully has an authentic casualness even when discussing his often unfathomable history. His tone gives Haze an invaluable gravitas to build his documentary on. Actors are used to recreate scenes from Mully’s past and Haze misses any pitfalls of sensationalism with this creative license. Individual interviews with Mully’s family and friends provide the remaining context along with some well interwoven camcorder footage.